Nov 17, 2016

Headteacher's Blog

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In October I wrote to all the Year 11 students at Lady Lumley’s about the choices ahead, and I would like to share similar advice with you.  You have a really important decision to make about what to do after your GCSE examinations, and you have a range of options available.  At Lady Lumley’s we offer a range of academic qualifications in a school environment.  You need to decide if we are the right place for you and we hope to be able to answer that question at our Open Evening on November 24th.

In the sixth form you can study subjects you already know from Years 10 and 11 but there are also new subjects such as sociology, psychology and travel and tourism.  You are going to be spending a lot of time studying your choices at sixth form so pick ones you enjoy and will be good at.  In some cases, subject choice will be influenced by the entry requirements for a future career.  Some careers absolutely require certain A levels (e.g. chemistry for medicine) whereas others are much more flexible.  For instance, there are no essential A levels for studying law at university; all that is needed is a well-rounded education including success in facilitating subjects.  The teachers at Lady Lumley’s can advise you on A level choice and you can (and should) look at the UCAS information on possible degree courses to see if this should influence your choices post-16.

Deciding where to study is almost as important as deciding what to study. The quality of the teaching you will receive is the most important factor closely followed by the support you will get.  You may feel that a college atmosphere may suit you best, but you need to consider the level of support the college can give compared to a school.  Lady Lumley’s staff know that, despite the non-uniform and the outward maturity, Year 12 students still need support and guidance and benefit from the close relationships between staff and students.  The teachers also know the educational journey Year 12 students have taken for the past 5 years and can build on this in their lessons.  We have well-qualified subject specialists teaching every subject and we monitor the quality of your learning throughout your time here.  We do a really good job of making sure students get the grades they deserve and we have a fantastic retention rate, meaning we work hard to keep students on the full two year A level course.

The sixth form is very much part of the school but sixth formers are treated, and expected to behave, quite differently.  There are free periods, study periods, service periods, opportunities for work experience, dedicated work areas, the common room and no uniform.  There are opportunities for you to make your mark on the school; there is enrichment, DoE Gold and Open-Mic.  Class sizes are smaller and you are with like-minded people who have made similar decisions to you. You will also meet lots of new people.  You will be studying four subjects that you have chosen and these are ones that you may study beyond A levels or they may be the foundation stones towards a totally different career.

If you choose to enter the Sixth Form at Lady Lumley’s we will help you to choose subjects that fit in with your career choice and we will talk to you about how the choices fit together.  The timetable is constructed based on the choices made by students so there are as few constraints as possible on the subjects you study.  If you want to go to university, we have an outstanding system to help you through the UCAS process and a great track record of getting students into their first choice university.  If university is not for you, we work with local employers and the business and enterprise partnership to provide access to post-16 apprenticeships.  We will help you with your CV, give you interview practice and make sure you are fully prepared for the next steps in your life journey.

Choosing the right post-16 provider is an important decision and you need to look at as many providers as possible.  Visiting the school and talking to current students and the staff who will be teaching you is an essential part of the decision making process and I hope to see you here on the Open Evening.  Mr Ambrose (my head of sixth form), any of the staff and students and I will be happy to answer any questions you have.  If you want to study academic A levels in a supportive, challenging and exciting environment, then Lady Lumley’s Sixth Form could be for you.

Richard Bramley